State Capital Tour
During the Madison Capitols absence from the league in 2020/21, Lincoln and Des Moines are the only state capitals on the USHL loop this season. The Hawks visit both cities for 7:05 p.m. games Thursday and Friday respectively. Waterloo will try to duplicate the results from a trip that included stops in Lincoln and Des Moines on March 19th and 20th; the Hawks edged the Stars 4-3 before picking up a 5-3 victory over the Buccaneers during that portion of the schedule. This weekend’s action will wrap up Saturday with at 6:05 p.m. home game against the Bucs at Young Arena.
Ten to Go
The arrival of April coincides with the final 10 regular season games on the Black Hawks’ schedule. Waterloo’s best 10-game sequence in 2020/21 was played between February 27th and March 20th, when the Hawks earned a 6-4-0 record. April includes two games which were supposed to be played in November: this Thursday versus Lincoln and on the 20th when the Stars visit Young Arena. All of Waterloo’s final 10 games will be against opponents from the Western Conference.
Five years after Shane Bowers was a 16-year-old USHL rookie, another skater at the same age and also from eastern Canada is having a similar season. Through 41 appearances in 2015/16, Bowers had 12 goals, 10 assists, and had put 86 shots on net for a 14 percent shooting percentage. After taking the ice 41 times this year, Michael LaStarza’s line looks like this: 10 goals, 11 assists, 82 shots on goal (12.2 percent). LaStarza has had a little more time on special teams, with eight power play points and a shorthanded goal. At the comparable stage of Bowers’ USHL career, he had four power play points and none shorthanded.
Despite being sidelined for the last three games, Max Sasson was Waterloo’s leading scorer during March with 14 points (seven goals, seven assists). Dane Montgomery was also a solid contributor, even while being limited by injury; the Hawks’ captain had two goals and four assists in seven games. The Hawks went 5-7-0.
The Black Hawks’ rugged schedule caught up with them last weekend, with Waterloo on the downside of three games in three straight days. Jonah Copre scored the lone Hawks goal Friday during a 4-1 loss to the Fargo Force. Saturday, four Dubuque goals in the first period kept the Fighting Saints out of reach in a 7-2 decision. Charlie Strobel and Michael LaStarza produced markers for Waterloo. Then Sunday on the road against the Green Bay Gamblers, the Hawks were only able to dress 15 healthy skaters in a 5-0 defeat.
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Seats for all remaining Black Hawks home games are now available at tickets.waterlooblackhawks.com.